Montreal Canadiens beef up on grit, toughness and leadership with Corey Perry addition

Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens have their ultimate pest in Corey Perry.

It continues to be busy in the NHL as we rapidly approach the 2020-21 season and, today, the Montreal Canadiens have bulked up by signing veteran forward Corey Perry to a one-year, $750,000 contract.

After being in on Wayne Simmonds but losing out to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canadiens have landed a more than adequate Plan B in Perry, and at a cheaper price too with Simmonds handed a one-year, $1,500,000 contract in Toronto.

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It is another home run of a move by General Manager Marc Bergevin in a long offseason full of them, and the Canadiens could now be a juggernaut in that North Division.

Having already beefed up somewhat by trading for powerhouse winger Josh Anderson from the Columbus Blue Jackets and acquiring 6-foot-4, 215 pounds defenseman Joel Edmundson, in addition to adding an offensive punch in Tyler Toffoli, the Montreal Canadiens are now a much bigger and powerful team that can beat opponents in a plethora of different ways.

And signing Corey Perry to a team-friendly one-year deal achieves a number of things and ticks a lot of different boxes for Montreal.

Firstly, after also signing veteran forward Michael Frolik last week, the Canadiens are loaded when it comes to depth and that should be enough to carry them through a shortened and sprint of a 56-game schedule, in addition to navigating a long and gruelling postseason run.

Perry can be used up and down the lineup, on the power play and the penalty kill and can also be relied upon in all situations, so he will prove to be a valuable player for Montreal.

Secondly, Perry provides one of the best net front presences in the NHL and, while his production isn’t quite where it once was during his prime years, the winger can still cause hell for goalies and chip in with much-needed offense.

He’ll provide a valuable scoring punch for the Canadiens, as he did with the Dallas Stars in 2019-20 with 21 points (5 G, 16 A) in 57 games, but Perry’s greatest attribute and strength will be his willingness to engage in the dark arts of the game.

One of the biggest pests and toughest customers around, Perry will bring a bucketload of grit, tenacity and snarl to the table for Montreal, willing to battle hard in the dirty areas, crash the net and drop the gloves if he feels there is a need for it.

Corey Perry (10)
Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

And, at 35-years-old, Perry will add some experience, know-how and leadership to that locker room, adding to a strong core already featuring the likes of Shea Weber and Brendan Gallagher.

Corey Perry is the type of player you hate to play against but love to have on your team, and he will be the perfect glue guy for the Montreal Canadiens.

He just makes this team so much stronger and tougher to play against, and they should be one of the top dogs in the North Division along with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Plus, with an AAV of just $750,000 for one-year, this is a bargain of a deal for the Canadiens who will be celebrating if Perry can record 20-25 points as he did with the Stars last year.

It is a low risk and high reward deal for both team and for Perry, who played in the Stanley Cup Final in 2019-20 and obviously sees a chance to do the same with a much-improved Montreal team who could make a serious run if Carey Price can stay healthy and remain at the peak of his powers.

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Overall, this is another brilliant piece of business by the Montreal Canadiens and Corey Perry should be a perfect fit on a team that is built to exact physical and bruising punishment on opponents, grinding them down before going for the jugular.